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How to Test Seeds for Viability

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By Agnes Nantambi

Forage Scientist Dr. Jolly Kabirizi has advised that it is important to test seeds for germination before planting them.

Testing for seed germination can involve Randomly taking 100 seeds from the seed you intend to use. Putting the seed on a wetted container such as a blotting paper or a perforated plastic plate or a tray and make sure the seeds get enough light and water.

 After 7 days, the forage scientist says, one has to count the number of seeds that have germinated. Percent (%) germination = Number of seeds that have germinated x 100% Total number of seeds tested

Seed dormancy or rest is the innate inhibition of germination of a viable seed even after the seed has been placed in the most favorable environment for germination.

He however said Storage of pasture grass seed for 3-6 months in a cool dry place overcomes this.

“The major reasons of seed dormancy are immaturity of embryo, impermeable seed coat, hard seed coat and seed inhibitors among others, “he advised.


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